DMZ Post No. 3 – Tank Engine Tuesday

In place of the promised tankettes and Tankette Tuesday, here is the DMZ demilitarised version: Tank Engine Tuesday

DMZ? https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/02/24/some-more-peaceful-or-non-lethal-tabletop-strategy-games/

Tank Engine Tuesday? No that’s not engines for tanks. I once saw a Matilda tank engine for sale on EBay and thought for a moment, it’s a start. A Matilda Tank on the Front Lawn would certainly be a conversation piece …

Anyway a DMZ demilitarised look at my occasional Sidetracked blog, where my gaming life sometimes overlaps with railways and model railways.

Ben, this lovely beast of a Tank Engine is still lurking in the family toy cupboards, along with this vintage handmade station with its tin and card adverts

According to the authoritative https://ttte.fandom.com/wiki/Bill_and_Ben

“Bill and Ben are based on the Bagnall 0-4-0STs “Alfred” and “Judy” of Par [Docks] in Cornwall, who are both preserved and in working order at the excellent Bodmin and Wenford Railway in Cornwall.”

“According to the foreword of Thomas and the Twins, Alfred and Judy are both Bill and Ben’s twins. Alfred was once repainted yellow for a Days Out with Thomas event, to resemble Bill.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_characters_in_The_Railway_Series

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Railways are one DMZ demilitarised and relaxing modelling way of keeping the crafting modelling hands busy during current disquieting events.

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/02/24/some-more-peaceful-or-non-lethal-tabletop-strategy-games/

Its an occasional itch – I come from a Model Railway Family (we’re all about 1 inch tall, made of plastic and don’t move around much).

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Peter Dennis’ versatile civilians from his Little Wars, 54mm Paperboys – great passengers!

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/05/02/on-railways-and-floor-wars-the-lwr-fwr-the-hgwr/

One of the attractive sections of H.G. Wells’ Floor Games (1911) is the ‘lectric, or clockwork engines, the photographs of the cities and islands by his wife Amy Catherine (“Jane”) Wells and the charming drawings by illustrator J.R. (John Ramage) Sinclair.

Floor Games 1911

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The most attractive parts of railway modelling has always been the scenics and especially the figures, often a useful (but sometimes expensiv e source) of civilians for my DMZ Demilitarised Games – snowballers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts / Guides …

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/what-is-going-on-in-the-heads-of-the-tiny-railway-people/

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2019/11/23/airfix-railway-figures-reviewed-1980-and-painted-2019/

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/railway-civilians-54mm-size/

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/fogman-and-brazier/

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Some interesting DMZ reading and viewing

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Why not Do a Snooville? I remember this at the time from the family Railway Modeller magazine! https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2019/10/13/do-a-snooville/

Much as I like British railways and vanished quirky branch lines, I also like American railroads, Mixed Train Daily and Short Lines (Hello citizens of Bowdon!)

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/10/20/railcars-and-rural-america-mixed-train-daily/

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I also like pop up instant railways

whether in a tin,

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/deconstructing-trains-train-in-a-tin-vs-train-in-a-box/

a pop up book https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/pop-up-railway-americana/

or a Wild West battery train set and birdhouse trackside station

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/the-wild-wilko-western-express/

Set up and taken down in minutes. Instant fix. Quick joy.

Even a quirky pen and ink digital railway?

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/12/18/short-trip-by-alexander-perrin/

I

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Why not take it around in a suitcase?

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/spain-in-a-small-case/

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Taken from my occasional blog – https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 1st March 2022

“Some suggestions for toymakers” 1911

Some charming figures – Illustration by J.R. Sinclair from H G Wells’ “Floor Games” of 1911

Cheap and charming civilians, especially period ones in 54mm, are still hard to find. Not much has changed since 1911 then!

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/railway-civilians-54mm-size/

Working again researching and blog posting about H.G. Wells’ book “Little Wars” of 1911, I was reminded of this great illustration page of characters.

This book was expanded by H. G. Wells from a small end section of “Floor Games” of 1911 into two magazine articles and the famous book.

The charming railways section of “Floor Games” is explored and illustrated more here:

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/05/02/on-railways-and-floor-wars-the-lwr-fwr-the-hgwr/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 5 December 2021

Now with Added Trains …

A Russian Civil War armoured trains gaming scenario from the Wargaming for Grown Ups website:

http://wargaming4grownups.blogspot.com/2021/10/now-with-added-trains.html

Everyday Tasks on the Steam Railway – Bennett Brook railway archive films on YouTube

The Bennett Brook Railway channel of railway archive films on YouTube shows Training films on everyday tasks such as track maintenance in the age of steam, including these great 1950s track gang.

To me they look just like the Airfix track workers still available from Dapol.

You can access the channel via YouTube through their railway newsreel archive posts such as: https://youtu.be/MGszU8cA8_I


It’s all the everyday detail that make such films fascinating.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on Sidetracked, 28 December 2020.

Last Express Train on the Southwold Railway 1929

The Last Train from Southwold 1929

https://youtu.be/ygtjCLh4YBs

Southwold Railway History

http://www.southwoldmuseum.org/transport_Railway.htm

Precious post link to Southwold Railway

https://youtu.be/EHrWbNrVs_s

As featured in

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/12/20/more-curious-railways-on-british-newsreels/

Little Wars Railway – Peter Dennis PaperBoys Paper Soldiers 54mm Civilians

The fabulous Little Wars Paperboys volume by Peter Dennis of 54mm figures

Whilst I was cutting out more of the civilians from Peter Dennis’ Little Wars PaperBoys book, I thought that these figures not only look good on a toy theatre stage but they look very much like railway civilians with their bags and baggage.

With all the head and arm variants, these are highly versatile Victorian, Edwardian and early 20th Century 54mm paper card figures.

Peter Dennis’ PaperBoys 54mm paper civilian figures as passengers on Little Wars Railway (the LWR and HGWR)

Tucked away on the platform is one of my paper suffragettes (made using one of Peter Dennis’ figure outlines for scale).

Keen eyed ‘Little Wars’ / ‘Floor Games’ fans will spot an advert for Jabz Hair Colour (as handwritten in Floor Games by Wells or G.P.W. one of his two sons).

I presume they are meant by Peter Dennis to be evacuees for the War of the Worlds element of the Little Wars PaperBoys volume of H.G. Wells, as well as civilians for Wells’ Little Wars.

The station is plastic OOHO Hornby platform, Lemax Christmas Village lantern, whilst the Halt building is our family’s old wooden farm buildings from the 1960s.

You may have seen a similar platform set up with 54mm hollowcast and new metal figures on my LWR Little Wars Railway blog post here on my Sidetracked blog in May 2020:

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/05/02/on-railways-and-floor-wars-the-lwr-fwr-the-hgwr/

The train set and track is from a toy plastic battery operated Wilko Western Express bought in 2018.

Blogposted on Sidetracked by Mark Man of TIN, 21 December 2020.

Quaint Railways 1933 British Pathe Newsreel

Quaint Railways 1933 British Pathe preview https://youtu.be/3wLlrreh6uY

A couple of screenshots of this Littleworth Peterborough area light railway which looks WW1 vintage. The driver wears what looks like Army Surplus battle dress.

https://www.railwaymagazine.co.uk/2472/from-our-archive-lazarus-lines-same-railway-different-location/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Littleworth_railway_station

Similar light potato or farm railways

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincolnshire_potato_railways

http://www.davesrailpics.bravehost.com/nocton/nocton.htm

http://www.davesrailpics.bravehost.com/lclr/lclr.htm

Well worth watching …

https://youtu.be/3wLlrreh6uY

Pop Up Railway Americana

In the days of pop up shops, and Peter Dennis’ Paperboys soldiers, what about a pop up book railway?

I bought this over ten years ago quite cheaply at a seaside Pound Store / remainder bookshops type shop.

Illustrations by Michael Welply. 1997 Piggy Toes Press, produced for the Book People.

Illustrator Michael Welply http://michaelwelply.com/about/ has also painted the illustrations for certain American Army related Osprey titles.

The story on the back of the train pages, linking in part with the town and press out card characters …

Instant railways that go round and round are always fun, even if the clockwork engine here runs down very fast.

The PRESS HERE sound card worked well enough but the tiny batteries now need replacing (housed neatly in the Station Cafe central block).

Shhh! Don’t startle the deer and the rabbits …

I like the simple American country station halt.

The train really does fit inside the little shed when folded up and back in its book box.

A fierce looking schoolmistress …

Lovely details of the hobo cooking his breakfast above the tunnel, next to the Station Cafe.

A beautifully quick bit of paper engineering. When closed, the pond folds up for the train shed.

Great little pop up water tower.

What delighted me about this was the pop up rural Americana buildings.

Barns, schoolhouse, railway station, town hall – straight out of Little House on the Prairie or my favourite and wistful Americana website (and Facebook page) Forgotten Georgia http://forgottengeorgia2.blogspot.com

If I had seen another of these books at the time, I’m sure I would have stripped one for buildings or stuck them down a bit more permanently and adapted them for Airfix figures.

Shootout at the station OOHO Airfix figures. My Train in a Tin sadly doesn’t run on these ‘rails’

Instead of cutting it up and sticking it all down ‘better’ I will enjoy it for the peaceful instant pop up whimsy that it is!

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Sidetracked, his railway / gaming blog.

Black Dog Halt or Black Dog Sidings

Black Dog Halt article from Model Railway Constructor 1987

This is one Sidetracked blog post that I should have posted for World Mental Health Day on October 10th.

Modellers and gamers that I know talk about visits from the Black Dog, a metaphor for depression made popular by Winston Churchill but dating back older than him, possibly to the 18th century and lexicographer Samuel Johnson of Oxford Dictionary fame.

Maybe Railway Modellers down in the Coal Dumps are visiting Black Dog Halt …

I have written on my various blogs about the benefit of modelling and the hobby community for positive mental health, especially for veterans the Models for Heroes:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/celebrate-your-hobbys-contribution-to-world-mental-health-day-10-october-2019/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/man-of-tin-advent-calendar-day-5-dancing-with-the-black-dog/

Sadly I don’t think this Black Dog series of articles was ever completed as I think from memory that the MRC magazine closed in 1987.

Originally called Black Dog Sidings, here is an even better metaphor or analogy for model railway modellers who have lost their modelling mojo or zest for tiny railway life. They could write or say “I’m in the Black Dog Sidings …”

Read more history and see then and now photos at http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/b/black_dog_halt/index.shtml

However as a disused station halt (1863 to closed 1952 / 1965) turned cycle path, there is some coverage of this former Chippenham Wiltshire GWR railway line on Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Dog_Halt_railway_station

Linked to Bowood House and Lord Lansdown, there is an interesting WW1 footnote:

The station was provided with a long goods platform served by a single siding and ground frame. This was often used by Lord Lansdown for the temporary transfer of valuables to his London residence.

During WW1 a top level war cabinet meeting took place in a carriage berthed in the siding. At the time a military unit was stationed in outbuildings opposite the station.

Laura Lian’s gates photographed Geograph / Ron Strutt Wikipedia Commons.

These magazine articles came from a batch of 60s to 90s Railway magazines kindly lent by a work colleague for the modelling and history articles. I’m not sure I have the magazines for this Black Dog series of articles anymore.

In conversations with my model railway family (we’re all one inch tall and made of plastic), they had mixed reactions to the recent TV series Great Railway Modelling Challenge on Channel 5.

One point we didn’t make in our brief email conversation on the programme (and that the Bake Off type challenge programme didn’t make) was the positive mental health and social benefits of modelling and the modelling club or community.

Here’s hoping you avoid Black Dog Sidings and Black Dog Halt …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 22 October 2019